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  1. Dear Linda, Thank you for your reply. As you are aware Israel was created by UN mandate on a territory much smaller than is currently controlled. The internationally recognised borders are based on the 1967 armistice. Agreed it is policy to remove settlers as part of a negotiated agreement. I am just raising the point that this will be a tough and difficult thing to do, but necessary if peace is to be achieved. Apartheid. This was a system that gave different levels of rights to different groups of people. As I see it there are five levels of existence within the areas currently controlled by Israel (see my earlier post for definition of control). 1. Jewish Israelis - total freedom of travel, vote, full rights as Israeli citizens 2. Palestinians living within the 1967 borders, limited freedom to travel, full voting rights, some discrimination, I 3. Palestinians living within annexed East Jerusalem, limited freedom to travel, no vote, id cards but not Israeli citizens. Essentially people who are stateless. 4. Palestinians living within the West Bank, restricted travel, no vote, no id cards, stateless people, issues with regard to access to land. 5. Palestinians living within Gaza. Extensive restrictions, Economic blockade, electricity and water supplies controlled by Israel. Severe humanitarian crisis. Now, I suggest this is not a healthy situation. With regard to the constant fears of being attacked, I completely agree that residents of within the 1967 borders towards the south of Israel have suffered greatly from the insecurity of rocket attacks, and these are indiscriminate to the point that Palestinians have been killed. As mentioned in my previous post, this is a long standing and complicated conflict between the State of Israel and people living under its jurisdiction but who are denied rights. There are four potential solutions to this conflict listed in my earlier post as a, b, c, and d and again I invite you to choose which one you favour. I guess it is b. from your earlier response. However I also invite you to reflect on the following. When I was living under fear of attack in London during the IRA bombing campaign I did not expect my government to collectively punish the Nationalist parts of Northern Ireland. This was despite the fact that they even voted a convicted terrorist on hunger strike (Bobby Sands) into parliament and clinically executed prison guards on a regular basis. The IRA did not accept the "Right of the British State to Exist" in Northern Ireland. We fought them, but we did not systematically destroy the economy of the Nationalist areas and bomb them back to the stone age. Why not? Were we too weak? Or did we have some degree of restraint, sensibly realising that the march of time will bring an eventual solution and that some degree of human decency is required, even towards those who almost blew up the whole British cabinet in the Brighton bombing and who killed civilians in cold blood. Maybe we felt that to drop illegal white phosphorous bombs on Catholic housing estates in West Belfast would only create more violence in the future. I suppose we could have also bombed the IRA schools for good measure, but we didn't. I travelled to Belfast at that time and it was scary, very scary. Now, when I am talking about responsible and forward looking Israelis I am referring to those who are looking beyond the accusation and counter accusation towards a time when Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and the other states of the region will actually live together in a genuine peace with open borders that will enable one to drive from Port Said to Beirut as easily as one can now drive from Rome to Amsterdam. As you know, Zionism is about a homeland. This is a noble cause. However there are many interpretations of the form that homeland should take. Israel is strong and so she should be, but is that the end or the means to an end. There are many who are so drunk on smiting the philistines that it becomes a way of life. There are others, like the brave members of Gush Shalom, who see things a different way. Correct, most (Jewish) Israelis were in favour of the "war" on Gaza, but not all were. I imagine many Brits would have been in favour of the death penalty for IRA terrorists. Does that mean it would have been right? Personally, I just find it sad that whenever this issue comes up people always revert to one of two things: Either they point fingers at one another and say "You started it" meaning this bomb is in retaliation for that bomb etc. We can go right back to the destruction of the King David Hotel (by Zionist terrorists / freedom fighters) or even before if we like, but where will this Tit for Tat take us? Nowhere. Or they bring up the anti semitism / holocaust issue as an excuse for what Israel is doing now. This is also intellectually dishonest and also dangerous. In fact it is demeaning and disrespectful to the millions of souls who perished in the holocaust. I agree with Gerald Kaufman when he said in the House of Commons that what happened to his family under Hitler should not be used to justify every single action by Israel today, nor should it be used to paint all the Gentiles as guilty. There are so many, many great Jewish thinkers, philosophers, actors and poets. The Jewish tradition has had an incredibly positive influence on humanity. So it is just a shame when the Jewish homeland is defended by small minded people. Far better, and a far greater defence, to look beyond the bloodshed and imagine a better future. Oh, and don't say "they won't let us, or only if they stop first". Because isn't that what leadership is all about? Moving beyond the God of Wrath and Vengeance to the Loving of One's Neighbour as Oneself. Or moving beyond the petty and small minded to embrace the higher self. This is the true meaning of all great spiritual traditions. Best wishes A friend of Israel
  2. Thanks for your reply Linda. There are a couple of problems. One is that Fatah is corrupt and people in Gaza were tired of them - that is why they voted for Hamas. Gazans felt that Hamas were more honest and could deliver better. Many in Israel openly state that the economic blockade on Gaza since 2006 (which has crippled it) was actually designed to ensure that Hamas did not deliver. Because from Israel's point of view they could not afford to have a prosperous Hamas controlled Gaza. In addition, it is important to point out that Hamas is NOT like the Taliban. Gazan society also has its Christians, it Atheists, its factions etc. But it is true that Hamas is trying to assert control. I agree with you about the prosperity of parts of the West Bank. However one issue is the settlers who live beyond the Separation Wall. These exert a powerful influence on the Israeli politicians. Can you foresee a day when the government actually goes in and removes them? And what if the settlers are not removed. If they are not then it means that the West Bank and Israel become more and more entwined. Gradually it becomes impossible to separate the two and therefore there cannot be a two state solution any more. Once this happens, the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will quite reasonably start demanding the right to vote in Israeli elections. And Israel will be faced with a choice. Either become an Apartheid society for ever - or dilute the Jewish majority significantly. Granted, if Gaza returns to Egypt as you suggest, this will be a lesser dilution, but it will be a dilution all the same. Finally, lets not forget that whilst Gaza was part of Egypt, its population has become swollen by the influx of refugees from displacement of Palestinians to make way for Israels creation. The above is why some responsible and forward thinking Israelis are sick and tired of their warmongering leaders.
  3. SillyBear, They DID broadcast an appeal for the Sudan. DEC is a responsible organisation, they even get the National Audit Office AND other independent organisations to check the effectiveness of their aid. Take a look at the report on the Sudan appeal. http://www.dec.org.uk/download/411/Stateme...udan-Appeal.pdf Quite frankly, I think posts like that of [email protected] are both unhelpful and irresponsible. Unhelpful because they are untrue and irresponsible because they divert the debate into childish and dangerous territory. There are lives at stake here, both jewish lives and palestinian lives. We owe it to ourselves to deal with these issues in a civilised and responsible manner because we are so far from the action. Excuse me Linda, but typing inane comments like that from the safety of internet anonymity is not a good use of time. On a more general level, the amount of ignorance about these issues amongst the general public is very high. Both Palestinan and Israeli societies are far more heterogeneous and nuanced than we give them credit for. Hamas is not the Taliban and nor is Israel an authoritarian state. I find that in the US there is always a tendency to see things in terms of Good Guys and Bad Guys. Over here we pride ourselves on being more nuanced. In Israel itself most people are aware of their history and are trying to come to terms with how to deal with it. See my four solutions earlier in the thread. Which do you prefer Linda, and why?
  4. Thanks Pale Rider One thing that is interesting is that the longer time goes on the more that solution b. becomes more difficult. Interestingly, some in Israel are now talking about solution a) whilst the right wing are moving toward solution d). I don't think that Egypt or Jordan would accept this, nor would most of Palestinian society. Sadly, solution c) seems to be the order of the day for the time being. Personally I think solution b. (as outlined in my first post) is probably the best one. If there is a customs union, monetary union etc then over time it the two states may become part of some kind of Middle Eastern Union with Lebanon etc. Impossible dream? Look at what happened in Europe after two world wars, or what happened in South Africa after Apartheid. Look how much the world has changed in the last 80 years or so. Who knows what it will be like in 80 years time?
  5. Thank you Nickelodeon for your reply. The Pale Rider, I think a few minutes serious research and reflection will inform you that the only nation with nuclear weapons in the Middle East is Israel. Hamas is a rag tag armed militia, Israel is a heavily armed state, and has every right to be. If Iran ever actually develops nuclear weapons (very unlikely this will be allowed to happen) and then launches them at Israel (even less likely), this would mean the end of Tehran and plenty of other Iranian cities plus the effective end of Israel and Palestine given the small densely populated area that both people share. Hitler was able to pursue his wicked ways because he had total control over the population he wanted to suppress. Rather like Israel has total control over the Palestinians. Therefore your hypothesis is extremely unlikely Pale Rider... but I suggest you already know this. It is more interesting to move beyond slogans and look to solutions, which of the four solutions do you prefer, and why?
  6. Not sure what this has to do with house prices. In any case, if we are going to debate this very complex issue, lets have a serious debate... In my previous post on page 3 of this thread I list the four possible solutions to the Israel - Palestine conflict. Which solution do you prefer? and why?
  7. Not posted on here since 2006, STR in 2005, now living abroad. Not sure what this thread has got to do with houseprices but I think it is worth adding a few factual points. 1) There are no Palestinian states, and to say that there are is a travesty. The population living under Israel's control in the West Bank and the Gaza strip are stateless. They have no freedom of movement, cannot vote in Israeli elections, have no passports, no international airports / ports. There is no possibility to trade freely as all goods and service are controlled by Israel. Even the taxes, banking system, electricity and water supply is under Israeli control. However they can vote in elections for bodies that are less than useless because they have no control over anything that really matters. This situation has continued since 1967 and is freely admitted and discussed in Israel itself - see Haaretz website or Gush Shalom website. So sorry, there is no Palestinian state. 2) This lack of trade, even worse now that Israel has bombed the last cement factory in Gaza, is the reason why the aid is needed. Palestinians, who used to have an economy, are now dependent on handouts. And this actually suits both corrupt elements in Palestinian society and Israel itself. Tony Blair, in his role as Quartet Envoy has attempted to kick start the economy and tried to persuade Israel to permit trade between the West Bank and Gaza, but to no avail. He was dealing with the owner of the cement factory that was bombed. The famous tunnels, as well as bringing arms, bring all sorts of goods because there is no other way to get things in and out of Gaza. It is a prison. The Egyptians are happy to collude with this. 3) In fact the biggest recipients of US aid are Israel, Egypt and Iraq. These three have received the lions share of aid for a long time (this is aid in all its forms, loans, etc). 4) Since 1967 there have been a variety of attempts to resolve the situation. Israeli politicians have said that if they were in the position of the Palestinians, they would also take up arms. 5) The Hamas group fires rockets into Israel, ETA blows up bombs in Madrid, the IRA very nearly succeeded in blowing up the entire British cabinet at the Tory conference in Brighton. 6) Spain did not drop bombs on Bilbao, Britain did not fire illegal white phosphorus weapons on schools in West Belfast, despite the fact that the kids there had fathers who were probably IRA sympathisers. There are four potential solutions to this conflict. a) A "one state" solution, like that of South Africa and Northern Ireland, in which communities still dislike each other but agree to live in a single state, with equal rights. This would be about 60% jewish on current numbers. A "two state" solution in which Gaza and the West Bank become a proper country with full membership of the UN. There could be a currency union with Israel and a joint central bank. Maybe even a joint security force. c) A "final solution" in which Israel does to the Palestinians what Hitler did to the Jews, and expels / kills / permanently terrorises them. d) A "three state" solution in which Egypt agrees to accept Gaza as part of its territory and Jordan accepts the West Bank as part of its territory. All four solutions have their advocates in Israeli society. Which do you prefer? And why? Mods, I suggest this discussion is moved off the house price discussion forum
  8. That is what it was like. People got so hyped up about it all and then they could not live with the fact that their mortgage was having to pay for a loan worth less than the value of the house. A couple where I worked had the same problem. She was my colleague, they were a great couple, classic Yuppies, down from Doncaster and living it up in the city. In fact then they were called Dinkies Dinkies = Dual Income No Kids They bought a lovely apartment in ... er ... Camberwell (in 1989) only to see the price fall through the floor and were really devasted by this. Of course, time heals all wounds
  9. What a fantastic speech, I have just read it. Pure class and so funny. Takes a lot of courage to say that next to GWB
  10. Oracle, I was trying to be sarcastic. If you look back up the thread you will see that I was attacking "homeless" who is peddling his/her usual tripe. As far as I am concerned we forget too quickly the different nationalities that fought (and died) under our flag, as far back as the Boer War. There is cemetries in South Africa of Indians who died fighting for Britain against the Dutch. However, I agree with you on the Welfare System point. It is supposed to be a failsafe, and abusing it is not good.
  11. Wow, NLRG on attack mode! What images that brings to mind... Shards of estate agents frontages lay scattered on the ground amongst shreds of white computer plastic. The stunned, smartly suited young man picked himself up. " I didn't see her coming" he blurted. "I only work in this Estate Agents to pay the mortgage on my studio in Enfield." Witnesses say they heard something about a Rent Girl - then this flying caped woman shot down like a thunderbolt from the sky and zapped the high street office... Oh well, back to work
  12. Hey - Rent Girl, I hope you did not misinterpret my post. 1) Firstly, I am North London Rent Man. I said I was of the generation who bought in time, not that I am also sitting pretty in the suburbs. In the dim and distant past I posted my own personal tale of woe about being shafted by HPI myself. As far as I am concerned, the bigger the bust the better. And I am not talking about Sarah Beeny. 2) I have not logged on for a few months and I was just commenting on the tone of some of the posts. 3) Is that an panther on your avatar? Edit: Just noticed it looks more like a bear! Best wishes Paradox
  13. Actually, we are doomed. The problem is, my dear homeless, that the whole of human history has been one of migration. We migrated out of Africa to Egypt and from their we dispersed throughout the globe. We didn't even reach blighty until late on, and then we came in waves of migrations. Celts, Angles, Scots, Saxons, Danes, Dutch, Gauls, Jews, Jamaicans. That is just the way the world is. From time to time nutters will try to stop the clock. Stop NOW they say, I like it just like it is. But you cant stop the clock, we are all mongrels and we will always move around. I accept it can be difficult to accept, as civilizations and cultures rise and fall, but there is nothing we can or should do about it. The 1950s will never return, however much Alf Garnett might moan. My advice to you is this - if you are fed up with immigration - emigrate ! (that is what I plan to do anyway)
  14. I could't agree more. The way the aussies transformed Earl's Court in the 1980's really pissed me off. And what about the Irish and the way that they took over parts of West London. And whilst I am on the subject, have you been to Golders Green - it is all Jewish. And another thing, I get the distinct impression that there are thousands and thousands of Scots down here, with their awful whisky. My God, can you imagine it, we might even have some none English blood in us and not even be aware of it. I swear, if I discover a drop of impure blood in me, I shall cut off my limbs in the direct proportion to my impurity...just to restore the balance. Finally, have you ever been to the US? I heard that 99% of the population are immigrants!!!! and someone told me that this occured over the space of a couple of hundred years!! Were doomed.
  15. Who is confused? I am very anti immigrant. I am sick to death of all these aussies, south africans and new zealanders that come over here and work in Foxtons. They add nothing to our culture, drive up houseprices, and then go back home. (joking...) I am also concerned at the influx of russians with dodgy cash However I welcome the immigration from the Indian sub continent which changed our culture in two ways. Firstly it brought us the open all hours corner shop and secondly brought us the curry, which has become as much part of our culture as fish and chips. England before immigration was a boring place. On the other hand, I do think there is a debate to be had about the current immigration policies and the rise of the asylum seeker, a term unheard of a decade ago.
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